Feb 11, 2020
It had been months of work in the doing but after utilizing the supplies from raiding the Jovangellian prison complex Savvyhawk manages to complete work on their newly mobile base of operations. By leveraging their favorable relationship with the Technocratic Society for a Better Earth Savvyhawk acquires the nuclear device necessary to fuel the reactor and giant anti-grav engines hum to life as the hidden underground framework of the ruined airway rises from the ground, becoming the sky fortress Blue of Heaven ;)
Toccata convinces the crew to bring the fight to the Regent. After the kidnapping, it took very little convincing.
Employer: Toccata Leicht-Strejan
Target: The Landed Regent
Objective(s): Defeat the Landed Regent in a Duel
Rules of Engagement: No one kills her but me.
Detail: Invoking Dueling Laws
On the deck of the base Park is approached by Elisha Shade. She expresses her concern that piloting war machines makes both her and Park worse as people. She doesn't want herself or Park to be pilots anymore. She and Tuesday are leaving the squad to go work directly with refugee transport efforts and she asks Park to hang up their flight suit and join her after this mission.
Upon hearing of the squad’s intentions, Buster Noble (de facto leader of Technocratic Society for a Better Earth) calls Zax Bliss, telling him to support Savvyhawk on their mission but
ZAX; GATHER INFORMATION; CONSORT(6)
Buster has a spy in the Jovangellian court, Creciende.
In border areas around the TSFBE the Regent is going on a press tour to raise support for the Empire. Zax gets details about her travel plans. Warns that if confronted in a small settlement she may just choose to level the settlement instead of dealing with the consequences. Perhaps a wider audience would alleviate this issue.
GROUP ACTION; SWAY(6); Toccata takes 1 Stress
The group makes social media posts to get Heather Passerines' attention turned to the event where they will show up to challenge the Regent.
ZAX; GATHER INFORMATION; STUDY(6)
Zax helps Toccata comb through the dueling codes to find an approach that would allow her to challenge the Regent. There are specific rules for a lower status individual to challenge a higher status.
1) Proof of slight to a family.
2) Proof of unjustly implemented legal punishment.
3) A supporting witness to the challenge.
TOCCATA; 2 STRESS FLASHBACK
Toccata produces the evidence she gathered about the Regent setting up her family(Gathered from a Long-Term Project several downtimes ago). As well as a secret recording of the Regent gloating about destroying the Leicht-Strejan family at her first meeting with Toccata after Savvyhawk stole the Jovangellian nuke.
Engagement Roll: 6
While Vulcan von Strejan, The Landed Regent, holds a rally in a public park, the Blue of Heaven descends from the clouds. Park Tera Neta pilots the Thunderbolt MkV, carrying Toccata in their hand, landing among the scattering crowd.
Toccata uses the Thunderbolt’s loudspeakers to address the Regent, invoking the right of the duel. “My name is Toccata Leicht-Strejan, the Duchess of the Stain, and I have come to bring you justice. As the Regent raises her voice to protest, Toccata plays the recording of Vulcan gloating about exterminating the Leicht-Strejan house.
Heather Passerines is on the scene, broadcasting the encounter to her entire audience.
The Regent has no choice but to accept the trial by combat and allows Toccata to determine whether it will be on foot or in vehicles.
“The Persephone has been handed down generation after generation, it is more a part of my family than you are, we will strike you down together.” Toccata sets the scene for a duel between titans.
Vulcan declares that the duel will take place that afternoon, in an arena that she will have cleared and prepared.
Without answering Toccata pounds her fist on the chest of the Thunderbolt. The maneuvering tines on the mech spring to life and the engines roar as the Park returns them to the sky fortress.
As the time arrives, Park enters the arena to scout ahead of the fight.
PARK; SURVEY(2); Push with 2 Stress for +1D
Checks for traps.
Consequence; can try again in Risky Position; chooses to withdraw.
Standing alone with her thoughts at the edge of the flight deck, Toccata gets the message from Park that they were not able to properly scout the arena. Toccata says “Well, then. Wish me luck.”
She throws off her coat to reveal a tattoo that matches the pomegranate heart of her AWV. Mounting up without her interface suit, Toccata fully engages the Neural Link of the Persephone, the probes pierce her skin to form direct connections. She leaps off the Blue of Heaven in Striker Gear Persephone and lands in the arena to face Vulcan von Strejan, now revealed to be piloting the Striker Gear Demeter.
Wasting no time on formalities, Toccata charges the massive mech. Much to her chagrin the newer and more well-maintained Demeter has been loaded with autocombat algorithms.
TOCCATA; BATTLE(3); Desperate Great
Consequences; Lvl3 Damage (One-Armed); Reduced with with 1 Quirk to Lvl 1 Damage (Scarred)
TOCCATA; BATTLE(4); Risky Standard; Park aids with 1 Stress for better position
Consequences; Lvl 2 Damage (Bashed); Reduced with 1 Quirk to Lvl 1 (Busted sensors)
Two exchanges go by. For the first time since fighting Elreth it is becoming clear that Toccata is outmatched by a machine.
Zax Bliss, using his empathic
abilities, gives Toccata an outside perspective of the battle and
helps to guide her actions.
ZAX; SURVEY(5); SETUP ACTION; Risky; Push with 2 Stress for +1D
Consequences; Guards are advancing on Zax and Park. 4-Step Clock started and 1 tick filled; Resisted with 2 stress.
In a flashback, Park brought in their own boobby trap for the arena. Unfortunately they were not good at hiding it and their placed explosives were discovered by the Regent’s guards.
PARK; FLASHBACK 3 STRESS; PLACED EXPLOSIVES; ENGINEER(3)
Consequence; Guards Arrive Clock filled 2 ticks
Using Zax’s insight Toccata renews her attack against the Demeter. Still, she cannot find purchase with her blade and does only superficial damage.
TOCCATA; BATTLE(4); Risky Limited;
Consequence; move to desperate position
Zax, now more focused than ever, begins to pay close attention to the movements of the Demeter in an attempt to predict its patterns and guide Toccata more effectively.
ZAX; STUDY(4); SET UP ACTION; Risky; Push with 2 Stress
Consequences; Guards Arrive clock fills. Zax and Park are now hostages.
Upon hearing Park and Zax be surrounded, Toccata declares the final point of load on the Persephone to be Anti-Infantry defenses and unleashes a devastating hail of machine gun fire on the Regent’s guards, being guided by Zax.
TOCCATA; BATTLE(6); Risky Great; Declares Anti-Infantry Defenses and Attacks Guards; ZAX Assists with 1 Stress for improved position.
After dealing with the guards, toccata turns back to the Regent and says “You have no idea how much it pleases me that you were the first one to break the rules, you fucking rat!” She attempts to drive the Demeter through one of the walls of the arena but finds the overwhelming power of the Tier 5 mech to be too much to overcome. The Demeter easily breaks down the Persephone to a knee and Vulcan slams one of it’s knees into the chest of her cousin’s mech.
TOCCATA: DESTROY(2); Risky Limited;
Consequences: Lvl 2 Damage (Caved Cockpit)
A couple guards remain, Park pulls a collapsible sword from their jacket, rushing them. They cut down one with no trouble, but the second gets off a burst of gunfire. Zax Bliss goes against the wishes of Buster Noble and steps between Park and the guard to absord the blow, saving Park.
PARK; STRUGGLE(4); Desperate Limited; Pulls a sword to attack the remaining guards
Consequence; LVL3 Harm (Riddled); ZAX resists by stepping in with Armor; takes LVL2(Shot!)
Park relays that the guards are down and the two of them are safe for the moment. Toccata forces every ounce of power she can out of the Persephone and, shaking, rises back to her feet under the weight of the Demeter. She rams the broken head of her mech directly into the chest of the Demeter, knocking it back and breaking the grapple.
TOCCATA; BATTLE(6); Risky Standard; Park Assists with 1 Stress for improved effect.
After the beating it has taken, it is almost impossible for the Persephone to have any effect on the Demeter. Park asks if they are still playing by the rules and Toccata says “Fuck no!” Park utilizes their Fine Remote Vehicle Control to call the thunderbolt down from the Blue of Heaven, scooping themself up and ramming into the Demeter with their Beam Lance. The attack has little effect on the heavy AWV, the Beam Lance is left stuck in the enemy machine.
PARK; BATTLE(2); Risky Standard; Park Calls the Thunderbolt and Attacks Vulcan, Expending 1 Quirk for improved effect.
Consequence; Lvl 2 Damage (Divided); Resisted with 1 Quirk
In a truly desperate ploy to finish the fight Toccata ejects the chest armor of the Persephone, allowing her to see directly at the cost of being exposed. She grabs at the chest armor of the Demeter and attempts to wrench it off with her Fine Destruction Tools. Again she finds the pErsephone is unable to match the power of her cousin’s AWV. The PErsephone is thrown back and Vulcan winds up a massive punch to crush Toccata’s exposed body. Park throws the relatively small Thunderbolt between the two massive machines, absorbing the blow to save Toccata.
TOCCATA; DESTROY(2); Desperate Limited
Consequence: Lvl 4 Harm (Crushed); Park throws themself into the way and resists with 2 Stress, Maxing out their stress track.
With a final effort, Park pushes the Thunderbolt’s Powerful Custom Engine and grabs the Beam Lance, pushing it through the body of the Demetr and ripping it out through the cockpit.
PARK; DIRE ACTION BATTLE(6); Desperate Limited; Pushes with 1 Quirk for improved effect.
The Landed Regent is Dead!
Heather Passerines, in the upper reaches of the arena, continues her broadcast as Toccata climbs from the Persephone to the crumpled form of the Demeter. Park shuts down the Thunderbolt and crawls out. They scream at Toccata “ENOUGH! I AM DONE!” They go to collect Zax. As her comrades slink off Toccata stands in the middle of the arena. Victorious, she stares down at the body of her last blood relative.
Zax Bliss decides that being on the frontlines is too dangerous. He moves to a non-combat role with Buster Noble at the Technocratic Society for a Better Earth. Slowly the Technocratic facade falls away from the faction and it becomes clearer that it is a Cryptocracy run by a small group with no intention of giving up power.
Park Tera Neta leaves Savvyhawk to find Elisha Shade. Together they leave Earth behind, hoping to find a less violent life off world. Occasionally they return to visit Tuesday Special who stayed behind to continue her work in The Stain.
Time passes quickly for Toccata Leicht-Strejan. She is once again the most wanted criminal in all of Jovangellian space. Heather made sure that her face was plastered over the entire planet. In a flash she sees Tuesday Special’s truck gone from the hangar, followed by Zax’s Old Man, the Eternal. Park never came back to the Thunderbolt MkV. A tarp slides over the Thunderbolt and Toccata opens her eye. We see a significantly older woman, her hair cut short, still wearing her long coat and Jovangellian finery, though now it is more patches and stitches than original cloth. An eyepatch sits on the left side of her face, on it a hawk silhouette over a faded blue sun. She stands on the catwalk of the control tower atop the Blue of Heaven, looking down on her new squad. She is alone among them. A Superior, never a friend. All she knows is fight, steal, survive, repeat.
Toccata is dead.
Only the Duchess of The Stain remains.